Image Ark: A Photographer’s Mission to Capture 20,000 Animal Species

Image Ark: A Photographer’s Mission to Capture 20,000 Animal Species


Introduction

In 2005, National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore set out on a mission to create the Photo Ark, a 25-year project to document the world’s species before they go extinct. To date, he has photographed more than 8,000 species and aims to capture 20,000 by the end of the project. The Photo Ark has become an important conservation tool, raising awareness of the plight of endangered species and inspiring action to help protect them.

The Mission

The mission of the Photo Ark is to create an archive of the world’s species for posterity. Through his photographs, Sartore aims to document the beauty and diversity of life on Earth and to remind us of our responsibility to protect it. He works with zoos, aquariums, wildlife sanctuaries, and conservation organizations around the world to capture images of species in captivity. He also travels to remote locations to document wild animals in their natural habitats.

Achieving the Mission

In order to achieve his mission, Sartore has developed a simple studio style of photography. He photographs each animal against a plain white or black background, which helps the viewer to focus on the subject and its characteristics. He also uses a standard lighting setup, which allows him to capture the animal in its best light. His photographs are often accompanied by text that provides information about the species and its conservation status.

The Impact of the Photo Ark

The Photo Ark has become an important tool for conservationists, helping to raise awareness of the plight of endangered species and inspiring action to help protect them. Sartore’s photographs have been featured in numerous publications, including National Geographic Magazine, and he has spoken at conferences and events around the world. His work has also been featured in several books, including a best-selling volume of his photographs.

The Photo Ark’s Partners

Sartore has partnered with zoos, aquariums, wildlife sanctuaries, and conservation organizations around the world to achieve his mission. These partners provide access to animals in captivity, allowing Sartore to document species that are not easily accessible in the wild. They also provide vital support for the project, helping to promote the Photo Ark’s mission and raising awareness of endangered species.

The Role of Technology in the Photo Ark

Technology plays an important role in the Photo Ark. Sartore uses digital cameras and high-quality lenses to capture his images, and he relies on computers to store and process the photos. He also uses social media to promote the project, sharing his images and stories with a global audience.

The Challenges of the Project

The Photo Ark is an ambitious project, and there are many challenges that Sartore and his team must overcome. These include gaining access to rare species, dealing with the logistics of travel, and raising the necessary funds to continue the project. Despite these challenges, Sartore and his team remain committed to the mission of the Photo Ark.

The Future of the Photo Ark

The Photo Ark is an ongoing project, and Sartore and his team are committed to achieving the goal of 20,000 species documented. They are also exploring new ways to use the Photo Ark to promote conservation, including using augmented reality to bring the animals to life in classrooms and other educational settings.

Conclusion

The Photo Ark is an ambitious project to document the world’s species before they go extinct. Through his photographs, Sartore hopes to remind us of our responsibility to protect the natural world. The project has become an important tool for conservationists, raising awareness of the plight of endangered species and inspiring action to help protect them. With the help of his partners and supporters, Sartore is determined to achieve the goal of 20,000 species documented by the end of the project.